Oct. 25: Police in Kharagpur today arrested a band of Naxalites on their way to Calcutta to attend a two-day meet beginning Saturday to explore, among other things, the scope of unification of seven rebel groups.
The arrested Naxalites were produced in the court of the sub-divisional judicial magistrate during the day amid claims that they were picked up on unsubstantiated charges. The court released them on bail.
In Calcutta, intelligence agencies have upped vigil on the Naxalite conference under the banner of the Struggle Forum for People’s Resistance.
According to intelligence reports, activists of the People’s War and the Maoist Communist Centre — outlawed in Andhra Pradesh and Bihar, where they dominate several pockets — might sneak in to attend the meet.
The organisers have put up posters throughout Calcutta asking supporters and sympathisers to make the conference a grand success.
The meet, to be held at a venue in Sealdah, will be rounded off with a public rally at the Maidan. Participants are also expected from the Naxalite-infested districts — the two Midnapores, Bankura and Purulia.
Intelligence agencies are keeping a watch on all the exit and entry points to the sensitive districts. Both Andhra and Bihar have issued alerts on the activities of the People’s War and the MCC in their terrain.
The police today acted on the basis of intelligence reports that a group of People’s War activists will arrive at Howrah by a train from Bhadrak. They raided the train near Kharagpur and arrested 65 rebels.
The forces are also keeping a close eye on areas like Belpahari, Banspahari, Garbeta, Salboni and Jhargram, where the People’s War has a strong base.
The police have tightened vigil on the movement of vehicles along Bombay Road and other highways connecting the city with Orissa and Andhra.
To prevent a possible inflow of arms and ammunition, metal detectors have been installed at certain points in Jhargram and National Highway 6.
At their open conference near Shahid Minar on Sunday, the cultural units of the Naxalite factions will present street plays.